The city of Cleveland, Miss. is switching to an electronic system for the handling and distribution of documents in its various municipally controlled departments and offices.
The recent decision by Cleveland’s aldermen follows in the footsteps of the city’s board of education, which recently decided to transition to the use of electronic document storage, sharing and viewing, according to local news source the Bolivar Commercial. The governing body will switch from large binders filled with agendas, building plans, proposals and other documents to accessing tablets or laptop computers during meetings.
City administrator Farae Wolfe characterized the current situation at city hall and other offices as “endless amounts of paper,” noting that agendas for board and commission meetings could grow very large in page count. Because the agendas are distributed to all members of a body as well as other staff members, the money and other resources invested into duplicating documents was very significant at times.
Wolfe pointed out that for the Cleveland Board of Education’s electronic transition, the small cost incurred would soon be matched and exceeded by continual financial and time savings.
Along with the ease of use and reduction of physical resource commitment, going paperless also improves efficiency. RealBusiness highlighted research from PriceWaterhouseCooper that shows, on average, 11 percent of all paper documents produced are never accurately tracked or located. This statistic includes 7.5 percent of all documents that are misplaced and not located again, as well as 3.5 percent of documents being misfiled.
At best, the loss of such items means more time spent reproducing and correctly sorting them. At worst, a vital printed piece may never be found despite efforts to the contrary. The use of enterprise content management can help businesses significantly improve efficiency and spend less time chasing down missing and important items.